4 Ways to Accelerate Sales Development and Increase Pipeline

Author:

Aurelien Mottier

4 Ways to Accelerate Sales Development and Increase Pipeline

Author:

Reading Time: 6 minutes

4 Ways to Accelerate Sales Development and Increase Pipeline

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Do you ever wish that you could accelerate your sales and increase your pipeline? Well you’re in luck, as we are going to share with you our four pearls of wisdom to ensure that you can rise above your competition and easily meet your targets.

Shortening your sales cycle can make a huge impact on generating revenue and subsequently accelerating the company’s growth. Increasing pipeline and opening new business opportunities is what we are fighting for every single day, but how exactly can this be achieved? We advise a mixture of Account-Based Selling, Sales Automation Tools, Starting at C-Level and a Deep Dive Approach.

Account-Based Selling

A key approach that we recommend for our clients is the Account-Based Selling (ABS) approach, which is widely acknowledged within B2B sales and marketing for its level of efficiency. ABS is essentially a way of customising your sales approach and message to a specific range of accounts that have the greatest likelihood of purchasing.

Account-Based Selling can enhance your sales success by providing different sales strategies for each market level. Firstly, you must decide on the size of the business that you need to target, such as either SMB or an enterprise sized business and then tailor your sales approach to the specific issues of the company being targeted. You can then focus on the ways in which your product can directly benefit your clients by showing them why they need to help them solve the issues that they are experiencing. This is far more effective than simply talking solely about your product in isolation and what it can do, instead you must explain how you can help them with a personal and direct solution to their pain points.

Key points to remember when using the account based selling approach:
• Speak in their language
• Tailor your message
• Plan a segmented approach based on the seniority level of your audience
• Focus on the benefits to the client
• Don’t focus on your company

The Benefits of Outsourcing Account Based Selling:

There is huge value in outsourcing Account Based Selling, as an outside perspective can offer invaluable insight into how best to align your value proposition with your target market. In-house sales teams are often very well versed in the company and product that they are selling and are trained to focus on that as opposed to honing in on the benefits of the product to match the needs of each individual client. By analysing a product and its potential customers from an external perspective, outsourced teams can provide a unique approach to sales, which can accelerate sales engagement and pipeline. According to Gartner’s 2016 CMO spend survey, the ABS Approach is emerging as a ‘hot trend’ for companies to consider in order to remain competitive and adaptive, therefore is it essential to remain aware of this approach and consider the ways that your company can encompass it into your own sales agenda.



Sales Automation

Sales Automation tools can prove instrumental for helping inside sales teams to gain discipline in their strategy and follow the same strategy for every prospect client that they approach. There are thousands of products that provide sales automation, however selecting the right one for your business is time consuming and expensive if you get it wrong. This is particularly difficult when every automation company claims that their software is perfect for you. Therefore it is essential to remain knowledgeable of the best possible options for your company to ensure success.

How Investing in Custom Sales Automation Will Benefit Your Business:

By using an optimised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, sales teams can use Sales Automation tools to structure communication with prospective leads and guarantee the discipline to follow-up prospects in a diligent manner. Sales automation essentially takes the thought away from wondering ‘what’s next’ and works wonders in increasing productivity and removing excuses related to ‘admin’ within sales teams.


Therefore it is essential that the outsourcing organisation you select are experts in B2B sales for technology and software companies, with a sales automation process tailored to your industry. Thus, it is key to look for a partner whose sales automation service can increase results by at least 20% and does not use bulk standard tools. Sales success requires tailored sequences based on the prospect company that are then monitored and analysed to ensure the approach’s effectiveness, something that most automation tools will not do.



Starting at C Level

Another key strategy that we would suggest, is to directly contact the C Level decision maker to accelerate the sales cycle and cut out the double handling as you are ultimately going straight to the top of the decision tree.


As well as shortening sales cycles, C Level prospects will have on average 5 times the budget to spend with you, if you convince them that your solution is worthy of investment. C Level prospects won’t go with anything in half measures which means you will increase the average value in your sales pipeline compared with targeting a less senior prospect within the same company. In their research, Gartner has emphasised that by investing time into engaging with C-Level executives, you can increase your ROI by more than 200%. Furthermore, from our own experience, we have seen that by engaging at the C-Level, you are able to improve your close ratio from 1:3 to 1:2:5, so it is therefore clear how essential it is to engage with executives and subsequently close more sales.

How Will Targeting C Level Prospects Increase Sales?

A specialist sales team with experience of successful C Level engagement can eliminate wasted time and win your company more business. More often than not, a lot of inside sales people have bad habits including speaking to the wrong prospect and waiting too long for a response. Salespeople also tend to be apprehensive about engaging with C level prospects, which is understandable as it can be daunting. So you must select a lead generation company that has invaluable experience of dealing with the C level and that carry out in-depth research on the client and really get to know the value of the proposition to be put forward to the individual company. Operatix’ unique approach to C Level sales increases sales productivity on average by 50%, so be sure to consider engaging with us as a potential step forward for your company.



Deep Dive Approach

Once C Level engagement has been achieved, the deep dive approach then needs to be applied, which is essentially getting every decision maker within the company on board with the C Level’s initial decision to go ahead. The more complex the solution proposed, the more people that will be involved in the decision.

Why is a Deep Dive Approach Important?

Getting everyone on board is extremely important for the new B2B relationship in terms of working in sync and ensuring the longevity of the relationship. When selling to a whole company within a meeting, convincing every single person in that room and addressing every issue should be done to ensure an agreed consensus and belief in the product you are selling. Once this has been achieved, the decision process will be considerably smoother  and you will complete your sales cycle faster and more effectively than before.

The Benefits of Outsourcing the Deep Dive Approach:

Harvard Business School (HBS) suggests that the Deep Dive approach is effective as it enables the CEO to circumvent the bottom-up process that yields incremental business proposals in order to absorb risk that individual mid-level general managers will shun. In their research on the approach, HBS conclude that specific interventions with the personal involvement of a high-level executive is an effective way for top management to drive a shift of performance trajectory of the firm to new dimensions.


Therefore, by choosing a company with a proven track record of successfully using a deep dive approach can make the difference between losing the sale and building a lucrative, long term relationship. It is essential that your sales and marketing teams are on board with the new approach to lead generation, so only work with a lead generation partner that demands this internal ‘buy-in’ before they engage with you. This is to ensure a successful and truly effective working relationship with your new partner that will work and drive results without any barriers.

If your sales team experiencing any difficulty in getting all decision makers on board to invest in your technology/software, talk to us about how we can assist in closing sales. 

We hope you have found this article informative and useful to move forward with a more successful sales acceleration plan. If you would like to discuss any points mentioned above with our team, please get in touch or request a call back.

About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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